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RallySport Magazine August 2016

  • Text
  • Championship
  • Championship
  • Championshp
  • Wrc
  • Paddon
  • Rally
  • Rallysport
  • August
  • Championship
  • Rallying
  • Motu
  • Australia
  • Australian
  • Stages
  • Subaru
The August 2016 issue of RallySport Magazine is now available, and includes: Latest news: * Dowel backs rallycross to be bigger than V8 Supercars * Quinn’s Rally Australia WRC car bid falls short * New WRX STi could be Rally America bound * Up to 10 AP4 cars for 2017 NZRC * Skoda R5 for Mark Pedder at Rally Australia Feature stories: * Famous stages - New Zealand’s Motu * A close look at the Skoda Fabia AP4+ * Group B Mitsubishi Starion 4WD remembered * Budget rallying - Hyundai Excel * Where are they now - Wayne Bell * Hayden Paddon column * Vale: Steve Ashton Interviews: * Molly Taylor - Subaru factory driver * David Holder - NZ Rally Champion * Col Trinder - Chairman of ARCom * Emma Gilmour - NZ’s fastest lady Event reports: * Rally of Finland * APRC - China Rally * Catalans Coast Rally * NZ’s Northern Rallysprint Series * Walky 100 Rally, SARC

HAYDEN PADDON COLUMN

HAYDEN PADDON COLUMN What a busy week it was at Rally Finland. While we were unable to capture the result we went there for, we were still able to bank valuable points and keep us in a tight fight within the top five of the World Championship. With over 40% of the route this year being new, it meant that there was a lot more work than normal writing, adjusting and refining the pace notes. This also coupled with the fact that we did not compete on any of last year’s day two stages (which were this year’s day 1), meant we had a lot of homework and preparation that needed to be done between the recce and the rally. It was also strange this year to see how much road sweeping had an affect during the rally. What compounded this more than normal is that the region had had a lot of rain in the build up to the event, which then followed with 18 | RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE - AUGUST 2016 VALUABLE POINTS IN FINLAND some sunshine, meant the base of the roads became very compact and hard. On top of this you had a thin layer of small gravel that acted like ball bearings. Before the event we thought third on the road (our championship position) was a good place to be, but it soon become apparent that it wasn’t – that became worse on Saturday when Sébastien (Ogier) dropped back with some problems, and we were then second on the road. We started a little slowly on Friday morning, trying to adapt to a smoother more precise driving style that seemed efficient in testing. However, the stage times begged to differ, so we then reverted back to my more aggressive natural style, which was a step in the right direction. Try as we did, it was clear that the road positions were playing a bigger part in the outcome of the rally, and no matter what we tried with my driving or car set-up, the pattern and time difference of stage times to our nearest competitors didn’t change. But it was pleasing to be competitive with Sébastien and Andreas, who were on the road around us, and competing directly with the guys behind us. One thing that did become more apparent to me this weekend is that while I have always understood the sweeping affect on the first pass, this was the first time I also experienced it on the second pass, which I normally did not think was such an issue on the repeat loop of stages. So, some good lessons were learnt from this, and we can adapt a better driving approach and car set-up for when we are in loose conditions for the future. Of course it is something that is hard to test for, as after three or four runs in testing the loose gravel is gone and the rest of the day is spent on a road that is swept with good grip. We’ll do some homework in this area. The rest of the rally went without issue for us, and on Saturday and Sunday I was happy and enjoyed the driving. This year the stages were the smoothest and best I have ever seen in Finland, which were incredible to drive. On the short final day, we were involved in a close battle with our teammate, Thierry, for fourth, and despite missing out by two seconds, it was pleasing to get some bonus points on the Power Stage, and overall we were the fastest over the day. So there were some positives to take away from the weekend, and plenty of lessons. It was also great to see more drivers on the podium, with Kris Meeke being the first British driver to win Rally Finland (an event normally dominated by Scandinavians) and his team mate, Craig Breen, getting his first podium. The WRC is going through an exciting phase, which is only building up to what I believe will be an even better year in 2017. For now, we change tact as we head for four tarmac rallies in a row. It’s not my area of expertise, but we will treat these events as an opportunity to learn and develop as, after all, if we want to have a chance of fighting for the title in the future, we can’t just be fast on gravel. So the training starts immediately, with some tarmac training in France with Nicolas Bernadi, followed by two days of testing. Then it is the team’s home rally – Rally Germany. Thanks again for all your support, - HAYDEN

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